Part 1
Supplements To Support Your Stress Demands

Hello everyone and welcome back!

This segment will be divided into two sections: supplements and therapeutic herbs. The purpose of these products are to help build up your body’s natural defense system! Whether you are stressed, wired or tired, we want to help you focus on ways to de-stress!

Magnesium: the original “chill pill”

Why we recommend it?

For starters, chronic stress depletes magnesium. So, combine that with poor sleeping, eating habits and those weekly workouts, etc. Magnesium is super important for overall health. 

Maybe some of you have trouble sleeping, get antsy, have difficulty concentrating or wake up in the middle of the night with a calf cramp? WELL GUESS WHAT – you could be magnesium deficient.

 

Here are some reasons why you should take magnesium:

  • Can help relieve anxiety
  • Promote mental and muscular relaxation
  • Can help promote sleep (overall body relaxation)
  • Reduce muscle cramping (Woo! Bye bye calf cramps!)
  • Helps maintain normal nerve and muscle functioning
  • Helps regulate blood pressure
  • Helps maintain bone density

 

*Did you know that magnesium deficiency can increase anxiety reactivity, muscle tremors or ticks, muscular tension and cramping, elevate blood pressure and increase stimulation of cortisol? *

What to look for

We want to avoid taking magnesium citrate because it doesn’t provide a calming effect like other forms of magnesium do. Magnesium citrate is more osmotic, meaning it pulls water into the body. This would be ideal for someone who is constipated. However, please be mindful as overtime it can cause bowel dependency.

The forms of magnesium we recommend are glycinate and biglycinate. These minerals make it significantly easier for the body to use due to their absorb-ability and bio-availability properties. These types of magnesium help promote relaxation, better sleep quality and stress relief all while modulating your HPA-axis and supporting stress resilience.

Top 4 sources of magnesium:

  1. Dark leafy greens: 2-3 cups/day (ex: spinach, kale)
  2. Cacao powder / butter or dark chocolate (80% or higher): The higher the percentage levels of chocolate the more increased therapeutic properties it will contain.
  3. Avocado
  4. Nuts and seeds (almond, pumpkin)

 

Self-Care Routine

You can also take an Epsom salt bath (which is high in magnesium) before bed to help promote relaxation. Feel free to add in a few drops of lavender essential oil for a more calming and therapeutic effect.

Two B or not to B, that is the question!

The B-Vitamin Family

Before we talk about B-vitamins, we recommend you ask your doctor first before taking any. Not everyone needs them and certain people will respond better to particular types of b-vitamins than others based on their own biochemical make-up.

Consuming activated B vitamins is one way to support optimized function of the HPA-axis and neurotransmitter balance. B vitamins are required for energy production, brain function, cell metabolism which in turn plays a role on its need to support the bodily systems that respond to stress. 

 

Here are some reasons why you could take a B-complex vitamin:

  • Increase growth of healthy red blood cells
  • Increase energy levels
  • Healthy brain and immune function
  • Proper nerve function
  • Helps with hormone and cholesterol production
  • Helps improve cardiovascular health

 

Water soluble B-vitamins: B12, biotin, B6, folate, pantothenate; are linked to mood disorders and are co-factors to neurotransmitters that help regulate the HPA-axis and they play a role in nerve health and signalling.

Vitamin B5 (panthotenic-acid): This is critical in maintaining the production of stress hormones. These vitamins support adrenals in the production of cortisol because as we touched upon last time, too little and too much cortisol is just as harmful.

Vitamin B6: It helps with the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps combat stress as it offers a calming impact on the brain.

Found in: chicken, turkey, beef, pork (all pasture-raised, wild), green beans, spinach, legumes and whole grains

Vitamin B9: It helps make dopamine – the food good neurotransmitter

Found in: leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli and avocado

The Role of Probiotics and The Micro-Biome on Stress and Anxiety

The term pro in latin means “for” and biotic (in Greek) means “life.” Probiotics are also known as nature’s prozac because of the beneficial flora, specifically lacto bacillus and bifido. They play a significant role in producing our feel good inhibitory mellow-outer neurotransmitters – serotonin and gaba!

 

Over 90% of the serotonin in our body is manufactured in our gut and lacto bacillus, and bifido are the strains of primary focus. Your micro-biome (the gut) is the second brain of the body.

 

We call this the enteric nervous system. There are more neurons in this system (your gut) than the central nervous system, which is your brain and spine combined!  The enteric and central nervous system communicate bilaterally. Your central nervous system provides signals to your gut and your gut sends signals back to your brain.

When we are stressed, we may either “clench up” (peristalsis) and experience constipation or have the opposite effect such as an enhanced peristalsis, which is where you get butterflies in the stomach and loose stools. This is the communication mentioned above; between gut and brain.

In a state of dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance), whether we are dealing with SIBO, candida or a gut pathogen the enteric nervous system is going to produce more stress responders and reactive compounds rather than regulatory inhibitory compounds. We will actually see higher amounts of epinephrine (or adrenaline) made by the gut. This will continue to perpetuate anxiety and chronic stress response. In short, your enteric nervous system is trying to give signals to the brain that “things are not okay! We’re freaking out over here!” and we have to fix this.

So when we are talking about probiotics, we want to pollinate the gut with supporting compounds. These compounds help fuel the enteric nervous system to make the lacto and bifido, which in turn makes serotonin and gaba. It is very important on mood and stress stability as to what is being manufactured by the gut and how these signals basically communicate with the brain!

Why you should consider a daily probiotic:

  • Can help with balancing your friendly gut bacteria
  • Can help prevent and treat diarrhea
  • Increase our immune health
  • Can provide skin allergy relief
  • Can help improve digestion
  • Can help manage weight

 

Food-As-Medicine – Here are some foods that contain probiotic properties:

  • Fermented vegetables
  • Cultured vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • If you tolerate dairy (raw milk, raw aged cheeses, kefir, yogurts, non-dairy yogurts)

Thanks for reading part 1 of supporting your stress demands. Next week we will share part 2 that will discuss therapeutic herbs and adaptogens that help up-regulate our body’s resiliency!

Kayla Di Gaetano

Performance Coach